Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It’s been a busy old week so far. I woke up Monday with yet another sore throat, typical. In the afternoon, I had to go into North Ryde to sort out something at my gym, when I was on my way Sarah phoned and told me that her and Ady were actually going to leave Sydney on Wednesday (which is earlier than they’d planned) so they wanted to meet up with me that night to say goodbye. Unfortunately it meant there wasn’t any point in me going home and getting ready to go out beforehand as it would have cost me too much in bus fares. Anyway, as I was waiting for them at Circular Quay, I can’t believe I bumped into yet another couple of familiar faces, turns out that Lise and Rich from Munich had a one night stopover in Sydney on their way to a wedding in Brisbane. We were all really shocked to see each other, fancy bumping into them in a huge city in Australia!! Such a small world! It was great to see them, although I looked a right mess, I hadn’t done my hair, had no make up on, so when they get back to Munich and people ask them how I was, they won’t be able to say, she’s looking really well…. never looked better!! So anyway, Sarah, Ady and I had a nice evening, but it was sad to say goodbye again. I’ll miss them being here L
Yesterday morning, I got up early as I’d heard there was a vacancy for 5 days at a sandwich shop down the road. I spoke to the owner, but it turns out that they needed someone for 5 days a week, not just for 5 days, which is unfortunate cos I can only do 3 weeks work, so that was a waste of time. After that, I did a bit of shopping and I saw one of the twins that won Big Brother here this year.
Last night I went to the Oasis concert. I wasn’t that bothered about going to be honest, but I’m really glad I did, they were excellent. I got a bit scared at one point tho, I was in the middle of the crowd just before they came on stage, I thought I had a really good spot, but as soon as they started playing, everyone started jumping up and down and pushing forwards, most of them being big lads, so I had to try and fight my way back even more so I was a bit safer!! They played loads of their older music, which I loved and a few tracks from their new album. Sometimes I even managed to see them on the stage….I hate being small!!
So anyway, yesterday I got a call from an agent with one days reception work for today. The job was ok, there was noone at all in the office in the afternoon as they’d all gone to their Christmas party! When I first got there, I saw who I thought was a guy from one of my first jobs here in the city, I tried to say hello, but it was a bit difficult as I was being trained, anyway, I asked the receptionist if there was a guy called Matt Duff working here, she said no, but we have an Anthony Duff, I asked has he got a twin brother, so she asked him, and of course he said yes. Apparently he often gets mistaken for his brother when he’s walking around town…how funny, I’ve now worked in places with both of them!
I’m hoping to get a quiet night in tonight, I’m going to give my Mum a call as it’s her Birthday today…Happy Birthday Mum!!!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Still not much luck with work, I really didn't expect to be having so many problems getting any as previously there was always work. I managed to get 5 hours work last Friday, which I'm sure won't go too far towards paying my rent...oh well. I'm getting up early again tomorrow to go into an agency for the breakfast temping, I hope there is something, I went last week, but just hung around for 2 hours for nothing!
I had a really good weekend. Sarah came over to Coogee on Friday night, Ady was a bit poorly, so she ended up coming on her own. There were quite a few of us out, Sue came over and a couple of Kiwi guys we met at Lilys party a few weeks ago were out too, so we ended up having quite a laugh. It was a pretty late night though, so Saturday daytime I didn't get much done!
Then Saturday about 5pm, Jason and I went to his works Christmas party at a restaurant on Darling Harbour. We had a really good evening, it was all free so everyone made the most of it. I didn't actually end up eating anything though, I really didn't like the food I was given, which was a shame. We had another late night and yesterday I just lazed around watching TV, it was really nice to relax for a change.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It’s been a really busy week, so this may go on a bit!
Last Thursday Jason and I met up with Sarah (my friend from England) and her boyfriend Ady. As soon as Sarah and I saw each other we started screaming and hugging, everyone in the pub must have wondered what was going on!! It was really great to see them both, we had loads to catch up on. They were telling me about where they’d been on their travels, and I was telling them my stories too. I can’t believe Sarah has actually done this trip, I’m so happy for them both, they’re really having an amazing time.

Jason, Ady, Sarah and I
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So after a few hours and a few drinks, and a really good night, we had to head home as we had an early start the next day for our trip to Narooma.
The plan was to leave about 7.30am on Friday, but by the time we’d got all our stuff sorted out it was gone 8. It was supposed to take us 4-5 hours to get there, but in the end it was about 7 hours, we had to stop off on the way for a snooze in the car as Jason was feeling sleepy. We also stopped off for lunch at Berry, which is a small pretty town about half way there. It was worth the wait to get there, Narooma was beautiful. We were staying just outside of town in a place called Mystery Bay, at Mystery Bay cottages, I was really pleased with our choice of accommodation, ours was one of 6 cottages in the middle of the countryside, it was just what I wanted. The cottages themselves were huge, with 2 bedrooms and a kitchen, we had a large terrace, and when you opened the back door, all you could see was countryside and a few horses grazing, it was gorgeous.

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They’d even provided bird seed for the bird table outside, I put some out and straight away these brightly coloured parrots appeared for a snack. I still find it hard to believe these birds are wild!
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After we’d settled in, we took a walk to the beach, it was only a few minutes from the cottage (we definitely had the best of both worlds, countryside and the ocean). The bay wasn’t very big, and it was very secluded with only one other person there. We had a look at the rock pools, then headed back to get the car so we could go into Narooma and have a look around there. We stopped at a couple of view points, on one of them we saw Australia rock, which was cool.

Me struggling to get up there
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Jason, making it look really easy!
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We drove past Narooma's famous golf course, it’s on a cliff right by the sea which is pretty spectacular. By this time we were getting hungry, so we went back to the cottage to get changed, then went out for dinner. We found a lovely little Italian restaurant where the food was really great, we were both stuffed after our meal. We then just went back to the cottage and watched a video, we were both exhausted after the long day. I have to say, I had the best sleep I’ve had in absolutely ages, it was so peaceful there right in the middle of the countryside, I didn’t wake up once which is not like me!

Saturday, we were up early again so we could make the most of the day. First stop was the historic town of Tilba. It’s a tiny little town with the most beautiful brightly coloured little houses and shops, I really loved it there, it was so peaceful.
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One of the little shops
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We sampled some cheese at the cheese shop and had to buy some sundried tomato cheese, yum! Then we found a little sweet shop that had the biggest selection of sweets in jars I’ve seen in a long time, it was like going back in time, they had cough candy twists, flying saucers, rosy apples, lemon sherbets, we bought some strawberry and lemon bon bons! After that we drove to Tilba Tilba, which was an even smaller town, there wasn’t much to see there but it was pretty. I wanted to go into the gardens which are supposed to be beautiful, but Jason wasn’t really bothered so we just had a look at all the lovely flowers and plants in the nursery outside. We didn’t really have much time anyway, as we’d booked a boat tour on the Wagonga Inlet (an estuary) for the afternoon. So we found a lovely beach (beach 1080) to eat some lunch, it was really off the beaten track, so again we hardly saw anyone there. Then we headed off the marina to meet our tour guide, we had the boat all to ourselves as noone else had booked a trip, which was great for us. We had a 2 hour tour of the estuary, it was quite informative, we learnt a lot more about the area, it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon in the sunshine, cruising around.
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When we moored the boat, the sky started to cloud over, we were a bit disappointed as we were going to go for a swim, but it had got a bit chilly, anyway, we had been really lucky with the weather up until then, it was gorgeous, so we weren't complaining too much. While we were there we wanted to try some local seafood, but because I’m on a bit of a budget, we decided just to get some fish and chips. We both chose John Dory, and it was absolutely lovely, really fresh and really tasty, can’t say the chips were all that great though, they do try here, but you still can’t beat good old English chips!! It was another reasonably early night, well for me it was, I was falling asleep at about 9pm, I was shattered. Unfortunately I didn’t have as good a sleep as the night before, I had a scary nightmare, and then at one point I was woken up to what I was sure was a horse cantering past our cottage!
I really didn’t want to get out of bed the next day, but we still wanted to do a few things before the trip back to Sydney so I didn’t have much choice. First we did one of the tourist drives around the Wagonga inlet. We saw a fair bit of wildlife, loads of birds, including some more brightly coloured parrots, then as we were just finishing the drive we saw a little wallaby in the road, I’m not surprised they get run over as much as they do, it was just sitting there for ages... oblivious! On the drive down there I saw 2 dead kangaroos by the side of the road, it must be a fright if you knock one of those things over! Talking of wildlife, we had a quick stop at a public loo, I went inside of the cubicle thinking they were quite clean for a public toilet, I just closed the door and I had the fright of my life, I saw a huge huge Huntsman spider, now, I’m not the type to scream when I see a spider, but this one, well, yep, I screamed!!! Jason came in and took a photo of it so you can see for yourself….I should have put my hand next to it so you can see compare the size, but I wasn’t putting my hand anywhere near that thing! Mind you, I’ve not done bad, I’ve been here 9 months and that’s the first thing like that I’ve ever seen (and hope it’s the last!!)

Don't look at this Mum!!
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After that drama, we went to the Tilba Winery, I had just to go while I was there. It was a lovely place set in the middle of the ‘bush’. We tasted a few wines, and to be honest I didn’t like any of the whites, they didn’t taste like anything I’ve tried before. We decided to stay there for lunch and even though I wasn’t that fussed, I did order myself a large glass of Chardonnay….well, you just have to don’t you!! They had live blues music in the garden (actually one of the guys looked like Ozzy Ozbourne!) it was a great chilled out way to spend a Sunday afternoon. After an hour of so, Jason had to drag me away as he wanted to get on with the driving. Big mistake having a glass of wine, practically as soon as I sat in the car I fell asleep…not the best company for Jason!! Anyway, he ended up having to stop again for a sleep on the way back too, we’d done so much we were shattered! We decided to have a quick stop at Kiama on the way back, there you can see the famous blowhole. I was lucky go get a good shot of it in action!

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I had the best weekend, it was so nice to relax and just do our own thing, I really loved the place, I can’t describe how lovely it was, the countryside was gorgeous and it was so peaceful, I’ve lost count of how many times I said to Jason ‘I could just live here, it’s beautiful’!! I really wish we’d have stayed an extra day, it just went by too quickly, but like all holidays, it had to come to an end :-(
Now it’s back to reality. It’s Tuesday and I still have no work, I’m starting to get worried now, I’m constantly on the phone to the agencies, but they just have nothing. Tomorrow I’m going to one of them for their breakfast meeting, so if any companies phone up needing a temp, at least I’ll be one of the first choices. Actually, I’m quite glad I didn’t get anything today, I went out with Sarah and Ady again last night and they fed me lots of wine, so wasn’t feeling on top form this morning! We had another fun night, we met at Circular quay again, we were going to watch the Australian Idol final which was hosted at the Opera house (not that I’d watched any of the series, but we thought it would be fun) but we got there and it was absolutely heaving, so we just went to the Opera bar instead. It’s so nice to go out with them both, I can’t get used to the fact that they’re here though!! We had a really fun evening, and Sarah was really pleased as she got to see fireworks at the harbour (she’s disappointed that she’s not here for NYE) they were really great fireworks, although my photos didn't come out that well unfortunately.

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They’ve gone off to the Blue Mountains today. I hope they have a nice day, looks like they’ve got the weather for it. We’re meeting up again on Friday night, we’re going to the Cushion bar for half price drinks again so it should be a good night.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Well, I did manage to get some work this week. I really hate this temping lark sometimes, on Monday I was on tenterhooks not knowing if I would get a call to go to a job, then Tuesday again I was up early and dressed just in case. Anyway, I did get a call for 2 days reception work at a small IT firm in Redfern. I have to say, they were the longest 2 days of my life!! The phone rang probably about 4 times on both days, and I was just literally sat there bored out of my mind...I guess it's easy money, but I do like to be kept busy. So I just hope something comes up next week so I can work up until my Mum gets here.
Sue and I went to belly dancing again last night, we had such a laugh, I really enjoyed it. The teacher brought in some veils, so we all learnt a dance using the veils, it was hilarious, I looked so unsexy it was funny, she keeps saying to practise at home, maybe I'll give it a go!! After the lesson we just had a couple of drinks and a catch up, all the pubs were packed as the World Cup qualifier between Australia and Uruguay was on, we managed to find a quieter one. I caught the end of the extra time when I got home and I watched the penalties, I really wanted Australia to win, it is the first time in 31 years that they qualifed, and the last time was when the World cup was in Germany.
Jason and I are going to Narooma tomorrow morning for the weekend, it's about 4 hours drive south of Sydney and it's supposed to be really beautiful. I just hope the weather is ok, the last couple of days it's been blowing a gale and been raining loads, today seems to be a bit better, so fingers crossed.
I'm meeting Sarah and Ady tonight, they arrived in Sydney yesterday, I'm really looking forward to seeing them again, I haven't seen Sarah since just before I left in February, it'll be weird seeing them here.
I've also just had a mail from Lisa (from Munich) her and her boyfriend Steve are in the Cook Islands now, they're getting married there next week. They've managed to get tickets for the New Years Eve party we're going to, it's at Lunar Park which is right underneath the harbour bridge, should be cool!

Monday, November 14, 2005

I met Sue at the Rocks after work on Friday night, it was a really good night. We had a look around the market stalls, but there were so many people there we gave up in the end and headed to the bar. It was absolutely packed there. After a while a well known Aussie singer came on, Johnny Diesel, everyone started going wild, as you can guess Sue and I didn't have a clue who he was, anyway we enjoyed the music. After the band finished, we headed to a pub, they had live music as well, I think it was an Irish bar. After one drink there we left as Sue had to be up early the next day to go canyoning. I caught the bus back to Coogee, but everyone was at a pub in Randwick, so I stopped off there for a bit to meet up with them. On the bus journey 3 kiwis started talking to me, they were hilarious, they called themselves FOB's (fresh off the boat!) the guy sat next to me was camp as, it was very funny. When I went to get off the bus I was really embarrassed, the bus lurched a bit, and I ended up falling on top of one of the guys, they found that highly amusing...I just ran off the bus after that!!
Saturday night it was Rachels birthday, so a few of us met up around her flat for pre-drinks. Then we headed to the famous Slip Inn (where Prince Frederik from Denmark met his future wife) for a couple and then we walked to Home bar where they were having their 7th birthday party. It was absolutely heaving in there, it was a good night, but very expensive and too busy, I only ended up having 2 drinks because of this...and also of course everyone was on drugs too, so all you can really do is dance, it's too loud to talk to anyone as well (god I sound old don't I). There was a really good band on at one point, Sneaky Sound System, but that was the highlight for me, we ended up leaving at 2am.
Yesterday I walked down to the beach and sat there for a couple of hours with my book, it was packed there, almost like Bournemouth beach! I also went for a bit of a walk, it was just nice to spend a bit of time by myself chilling out.
So, today I still haven't found a job, I'm getting a bit worried now, as I really need the money, I hope something turns up soon...fingers crossed! I did actually get offered 3 months of work as a PA, which would have been fantastic, but I can't do it as I'm going to New Zealand in January...bummer!
Actually, I have some news about that, I've decided to forfeit my ticket back home in January, I've booked a flight back to Sydney from New Zealand so I can stay here for an extra 2 months until my visa runs out. It does mean I will miss out on going to Fiji and the States, but to be honest, I'd rather stay here and spend the money I would have spent on those trips on a later flight home. I'd been thinking about if for ages, and now I've made my decision, so I won't be back in England until at least mid March!!!

Friday, November 11, 2005

I just had my last day at work today, I've eaten even more cake, they bought a lovely chocolate mud cake and I had 2 slices....what with that and the 5 doughnuts this week, my diet hasn't done well at all!! It's always a bit sad leaving somewhere and saying goodbye, I will keep in touch with them though, they were all really nice. I can't believe it's ended already, the last 2.5 months there have really flown by! I haven't got anything else lined up yet, I'm hoping something will come up quickly as I can't really afford to take anymore time off just yet, what with Mum's trip coming up.
The weather here has been very changeable, one day it's raining and muggy, then next it's bright (and muggy) Yesterday I came out of work and it was literally like walking into a sauna, it was 35 degrees, but today, it's really pleasant, about 24 degrees. You really don't know what each day is going to bring, it's so unpredictable.
I had a mail yesterday from my friend Sarah from England, I'm meeting her and her boyfriend next Thursday for drinks, can't wait to see them both!
I'm just off to meet Sue in a bit, they have a moonlight market on at the Rocks, they will have lots of food and a band on, it sounds like it will be fun.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Belly dancing was fun last night, it was a lot harder than the time I went before in Munich, I think that was because there were a lot of people there at different levels. When we went in Munich, none of us had done it before, so the teacher taught us from scratch. Sue and I are going to buy a 10 pass card so we will go every week. My hips are aching a bit today, so it must be doing some good. It was funny doing some of the moves, at one point I just looked like I was having a fit!!! I’m sure I’ll get better tho.
Actually afterwards we paid an impromptu visit to the comedy store as there was a British comedian on. The first half there were 4 comedians (comedian said in a loose sense of the word) Well, actually 2 of them were very good, but the other 2 were awful, one of them being American, he didn’t do his full set, I guess he sensed he was not warming up the audience. The main act, the British guy, was brilliant. It was a very observational style of comedy which is my favourite, a lot of it was about arriving in Australia, Sue and I thought this was hilarious as he talked about the same things we noticed when we first got here. He also talked a lot about Britain and of course, men and women’s relationships…hilarious!!! I’m surprised my belly is not aching more after the dancing and then all the laughing!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I went out for lunch yesterday with work as this is my last week. We had a lovely lunch then we went down the pub for a couple of drinks, needless to say I didn’t get much done after that, I felt really sleepy all afternoon and evening. I did attempt to do a bit of clothes shopping after work, I’m starting to get frustrated about my lack of clothes, it’s especially annoying as I have loads back in England. Anyway, I didn’t find anything, typical, I really miss the shops back home!
When I came to Australia I more or less had the impression that it was 365 days a year sunshine, but now I’m realising that it definitely isn’t true….it has rained loads the past few weeks, and there have been lots of storms. It gets quite humid here, so I guess that’s why. Apparently summer is the rainy season (even though it's not quite summer yet)….. and everyone goes on about all the rain in England, I’m going to have to stick up for my home country and say it’s really not that bad there compared to some other countries I’ve been!! (you might have guessed, but I’m feeling a little homesick at the moment!)
It looks like there are going to be quite a few visitors coming to Sydney over the next few weeks, my friend Sarah and her fiancĂ©e from England will be here in just under 2 weeks, then Lisa and Steve from Munich at the beginning of December (they’re getting married soon in the Cook Islands), then my Mum of course, a friend from my old work in Munich and I’ve just had a mail from another friend in England, her and her husband will be out for New Year, it’s going to be funny seeing all these people over here!! I’m looking forward to catching up with them.
Tonight Sue and I are going belly dancing…haha, should be a laugh! We’ve been wanting to do something a bit different for ages, so we thought we’d take up some lessons. I’ve actually done it once before in Munich for my friends hen party and I really enjoyed it, so it might be my new hobby, watch this space!!!
Actually, as another part of my last week at work, they took me down to Krispy Kreme this morning to get some doughnuts for morning tea. Felicity had one of these cards where you buy a box of 12 and get another box of glazed doughnuts free (bear in mind there was only 3 of us in today). So after eating 2 each in the park we walked back to work. I’m still actually feeling full up from eating them, and I’ve still got 6 more to eat, actually Jeff said we could have his glazed ones too as he had bought 2 big boxes for his family. So now I’ve got 8 doughnuts in my bag…Jeff and I were trying to find containers to pack them into…we were having a laugh about me looking really good turning up for belly dancing with a bag full of doughnuts!!!

Monday, November 07, 2005

I managed to get to Sue and Grant’s last Thursday without too much trouble, the traffic wasn’t too bad as it was before 5pm. When we drove past the hole in the road where the block of flats had fallen in, everyone on the bus was gauping out of the window at it, it was quite funny! It was great to catch up with the family again, it’d been ages. We had a nice meal and watched a TV programme about New Zealand, they were telling me the nice places to go when we get there.
Friday night I ended up staying in and watching About a boy with Lily. Saturday I just did a bit of shopping, then in the evening we went to a Russian restaurant for Lily’s birthday (she’s from the Ukraine). I was a bit dubious about going, as it was a set-menu (and it wasn’t very cheap) and I know how fussy with food I am, but it turns out that it was ok, although not worth $55! The restaurant was really nice, it was very posh and it was packed, everyone was dressed up to the nines. There were about 10 different entrees we could eat, although most of it was meat, I think most people were stuffed after they’d finished those. In between courses there was Russian dancing, which looked more like something from the Moulin Rouge to me! The guys all loved that. We didn’t actually get the main course until about 2 hours later, and by that time, most people were so drunk they weren’t really thinking of food. I’d ordered the fish and was starving, so I ate all of mine, it wasn’t bad. Towards the end of the night, the music got really dire, so a few of us decided it was time to leave and go somewhere else. We’d met some really cool people actually, most of whom were Kiwis so we had a really good laugh, hopefully we’ll meet up with them again soon.
Yesterday I went out with Todd and Lily for a drive, we went to Vaucluse which is a really posh expensive part of the city, we took some lunch with us and then lay in the sun for a while. Then we took a drive to Watsons bay where you get the most fantastic view of the Sydney skyline. It was nice to get out and get some fresh air. Last night I just caught up with some phonecalls, spoke to my Mum again for a while which was nice.
It’s my last week working at Sydney Water, I wish I could stay a bit longer, I don’t really fancy having to start something new again, but I guess I have no choice. At least it will only be for a month until Mum gets here, then I’ll get another 6 weeks off yaaay!!
Some photos from the weekend......
Me on the bridge at Vaucluse
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Some expensive houses
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Todd and Lily at Watsons Bay
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Sydney skyline
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A really pretty tree
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Thursday, November 03, 2005

I’ve been gym mad this week, I’m really getting into it now…..although, I only seem to make it there Monday, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thursdays and Fridays there always seems to be things going on. I’m trying to do this GI diet, it’s quite good actually, and you can still eat a fair bit. I still haven’t had a potato….it’s been 3 weeks or something, I did weaken on Saturday when I went shopping and bought some (I was hungover), but so far I haven’t touched them!!
I’m off to Sue and Grants tonight, I’m looking forward to it as I haven’t seen them in ages, will be good to catch up with them. Might be a bit of a nightmare getting there and back though, under the main road to get to North Ryde they are building a tunnel, but yesterday morning a part of it gave in, and half a block of flats has fallen down the hole! Apparently it was chaos yesterday.
I bought myself the new Robbie Williams CD from my favourite $10 CD shop, well it was $14, (that’s 5 pounds to my British friends) and it’s only just been released….what a bargain!! I’ve got myself quite a collection now…god knows how I’m going to get them all home!!
You’ve probably heard there has been a terror threat on Australia, John Howard has not mentioned specifics, but the general opinion here seems to be that it’s a ‘coincidence’ that it has happened at the same time he is trying to push through the new anti-terror laws (which are causing much controversy). You never know with these politicians.
Wow, I did change the subject there quite dramatically didn’t I!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Well, I didn’t win any money on the sweepstakes for the Melbourne Cup yesterday :-( We had a nice do here at work though, they laid on some food and we all watched the race here….I was quite excited at one point, one of my horses was in 2nd place for a while..but that didn’t last long! The horse that won was Makybe Diva, the favourite to win (why didn’t I put a bet on!!) It was actually the 3rd consecutive win of the Melbourne Cup for her and her jockey, and they have made history by doing it. The jockey was so emotional that they’d won again, it was really sweet. The horse has now been retired. On the bus home from work, we just caught all the people coming out of the Randwick race course (where all the Sydneysiders go to watch it) it was absolutely chocka, as always everyone was drunk and sunburnt too, it was very funny to watch! The bus driver didn’t even stop at the bus stops to pick any of them up, he was like, I’m not letting any of them drunks on my bus!!